Wayne Rooney has claimed he turned down the opportunity to talk to the Everton Board about the managerial vacancy at the club.
Frank Lampard is the favourite to take over from Rafa Benitez; who was sacked two weeks ago, after just over six months in the job.
It's believed Duncan Ferguson, who is currently taking interim charge of the team, and former Porto coach Vitor Pereira have also made the final interview stage.
Former Toffees forward Rooney has impressed under difficult circumstances at Derby County this season and his name was mentioned by many as a possible successor to Benitez.
Rooney played with Everton for two seasons at the beginning of his career, making his Premier League debut for the Merseyside club at just 16.
He then rejoined the club towards the end of his playing career in 2017.
He says he believes he will manage in the Premier League some day but for now will remain with the struggling EFL Championship side.
“I believe I will be a Premier League manager. I believe I’m ready for that, 100%. And if that is with Everton one day in the future that would be absolutely great.
"But I’ve got a job here that I’m doing at Derby County which is an important job to me.”
“They [Everton] got in touch with my agent, my agent let the administrators know as well, and yes of course it was a difficult decision for me [to turn it down].
Rooney was named permanent manager at Derby in January 2020 and he kept the club in the second flight of English football on the final day of last season but they entered administration last September and have been docked a total of 21 points since.
Everton currently sit 16th in the Premier League table, just four points above the relegation zone and have lost their last five successive league games with just five wins from 20 so far this season.